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'Nothing more important than safety' Why Jenks Public Schools banned a substitute teacher

Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-26 10:13:29-04

JENKS, Okla. — A substitute teacher is no longer allowed at Jenks Public Schools after sixth graders complained of inappropriate behavior.

2 News started digging into this story after hearing from parents about the incident.

Britny Pittman said her daughter is one student who alerted a teacher about an unsettling encounter with the substitute.

"He asked her some questions about sports, if she was a cheerleader, and she let him know that she wasn't. She let him know that she wanted to play volleyball, and he made a comment about short shorts, or tight shorts," said Pittman, on what her daughter said she experienced. "Through this whole conversation, she said he was rubbing her back. From her shoulder blade, down to her lower back, rubbing."

Pittman said her daughter told her the substitute's hips were touching her body during this incident.

On Thursday, the district shared this statement with 2 News:

On Tuesday, students at West Intermediate came forward and expressed concerns about the behavior of a substitute teacher. Those concerns were addressed immediately by the administrators and counselors at West Intermediate. An investigation was conducted, and statements were given by students. Parents of students involved were notified. Staff members responded quickly and appropriately to address these students’ concerns in accordance with policies and procedures outlined by the JPS Police Department and the JPS Human Resources Department. The statements provided by students and the details disclosed in those statements are considered educational records and will not be released. The substitute teacher will not return to Jenks Public Schools.

Any claims of West Intermediate ignoring students or “brushing it under the rug” are false. Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students. As a public school district, JPS must balance the public’s desire for information, while following the laws governing the confidentiality of personnel matters. Jenks Public Schools contracts with a third-party organization to hire and place substitute teachers. All substitutes must pass required background checks and adhere to District expectations.
Rob Loeber, Executive Director of Communications, Jenks Public Schools

The district has not confirmed or denied any details of the students' complaints. No charges have been filed in this case.

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